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Chukar partridge

Alectoris chukar

Photo by Christodoulos Makris (Trek Nature)

Common name:
chukar partridge (en); perdiz-chucar (pt); perdrix choukar (fr); perdiz chucar (es); chukarhuhn (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

This species is found from south-eastern Europe, in Bulgaria and Greece, through Turkey and the Middle East and into central Asia to Pakistan, northern China, Mongolia and southern Russia. The chukar partridge has been introduced to western North America, Hawaii and New Zealand.

These birds are 32-39 cm long and have a wingspan of 47-52 cm. They weigh 450-800 g.

The chukar partridge is found in scrublands, temperate grasslands and rocky mountain slopes, from sea level up to an altitude of 4.500 m.

They feed on shoots, seeds, bulbs and roots of various grasses, but will also take ants and other insects during summer.

Chukar partridges are monogamous. The breed in March-July, nesting on a simple scrape in the ground, sometimes lined with feathers and grasses. The nest is usually placed among ferns or scrubs, or protected by rocks. The female lays 7-21 yellowish-white eggs with brown speckles, which she mostly incubates alone for 22-25 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and are able to feed themselves, following their parents and sometimes joining other family groups. They start flying 3-4 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 2-10 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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